Knog Blinder Road Light review

Knog2

Being seen when you’re cycling has always been important, and as we move further and further into winter the importance of a good pair of bike lights cannot be underestimated. With that in mind, we bring you probably the brightest bike light I’ve ever seen – the Knog Blinder.

Considering the number of cyclists that complain about other cyclists blinding them with bike lights, it’s a little bit of a controversial name choice. However, it certainly gets the point across that this is a very bright bike light.

See and be seen

The Knog Blinder contains 300 lumens of light over 2 LEDs, with the ability to switch to ‘full beam’ in the way that a car can, and three levels of brightness. That’s the jargon and the marketing speak – but what does it really mean? Well, it means this is an incredibly powerful light that means you can see clearly where you’re cycling, and can also be clearly seen by others.

With a very straightforward clip on style attachment, the Knog Blinder attaches easily to your handlebars – and detaches easily too, which is handy for recharging (there is a clear symbol on the top of the light to inform the rider of when the charge is low).

Knog1

That’s the good – what’s the bad?

There were a couple of things that surprised and slightly disappointed me when trying out the Knog Blinder for the first time. The first was the size of the light. In comparison to other lights, it’s very wide. While this may not be a problem for the majority, I ride a cyclocross for my daily commute and as such have an extra pair of side-pull brake levers. Attaching the light rendered one of these unusable. I’ve often said the additional brakes make my handlebars cluttered – and I should probably remove them since I don’t use them and am not a ‘proper’ cyclocross cyclist, but the light is big whichever way you look at it.

Additionally, the Knog Blinder comes with a USB lead for recharging. Nothing wrong with that of course, but other USB rechargeable lights on the market have the USB attachment hidden so there’s no faffing about with leads, which helps keep things tidy.

It could also be said that the brightest light mode is actually too bright – it’s quite painful to look at, and with London mostly well lit it should be used very rarely here. But of course, the light isn’t built purely for London cyclists and if you’re lucky enough to get out of the city and into the country, it’s a useful light mode for being seen.

Conclusion

At £47.89 on Amazon, the Knog Blinder is one of the more expensive USB lights available, but this is arguably with good reason – the brightness is excellent and it’s very quick and easy to install. You cannot underestimate the power of convenience, especially in London when you need to take a bike light on and off all the time, so that it isn’t stolen.

We liked the fact this light is rechargeable, which long term will save you money on replacing batteries and it also keeps the environment rather happy.

The helmet attachment is a very nice plus.

Knog3

The good:

  • Easily attached and detached
  • Very light, considering the size
  • Very powerful, with optional ‘full beam’ mode
  • Comes with a very useful helmet mount

The not so good:

  • Big: so not a great option for cyclocross bikes
  • USB recharging requires a lead  – others on the market don’t
  • Not bright enough for night time mountain biking

Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

10 Responses to Knog Blinder Road Light review

  1. MJ Ray 25/11/2013 at 9:12 am #

    What does it mean? How far ahead can you see well enough to cycle?

    For about ten quid more, you can get a headlight, taillight, high-efficiency sidewall dynamo and associated wires and bracket that is non-blinding but good enough for 20-30m/15mph on unlit roads.

  2. RoadRunner 25/11/2013 at 10:47 am #

    300 Lumens isn’t a lot. My Magic Shine does around 1k…

    • MJ Ray 25/11/2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Magicshines put those lumens all over the place, don’t they? Fine off-road, but offensive to oncomers on the road.

  3. Steve A 25/11/2013 at 8:19 pm #

    My light has 900 lumens at half the price. Going strong after 3 years as well.

  4. G SIM 26/11/2013 at 12:40 am #

    I have a Blinder. Its definitely bright enough for other road-users not to have any excuses for not seeing you.
    It lasts about 6 hours on the flashing mode, which is each of the two bulbs flashing alternately, with always at least one of them on. But only 2 hours when just one of the bulbs is on. Can anyone shed any light on why this would be?
    I usually ride for more than 2 hours so have to therefore have it on flashing mode.
    Also, can anyone explain why there are two settings which appear to be for one of each of the single bulbs. Why would you want to choose between the two??
    Also worth noting is that it takes a few hours to recharge.

  5. Matt 29/11/2013 at 10:15 am #

    M J Ray – what would you recommend for a dynamo setup?

    • MJ Ray 29/11/2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Matt – it depends, but for me, I got an Axa HR dynamo, Pico 30 Steady headlight, Riff Steady tail light, Axa Soubitez (or maybe a clone) cantilever brake dynamo mounting and some wire, heatshrink tubing and bike-matching cable ties and tape onto the mudguards and toptube. So far, I think this is a pretty good setup, good enough to see at my 12mph-ish rides in the dark fens. There’s a very slight vibration in the handlebars, but not as bad as some roads around here. If that bugs you, a magtenlight system wouldn’t cost much more and probably wouldn’t have it, but I couldn’t find many reviews and I thought I’d prefer the HR’s constant whirring to the magtenlight’s occasional clicking, plus the HR system is all mix-and-match, while magtenlight seems to be an integrated system.

      I wrote more about my setup starting at http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?p=714291#p714291 and there are answers from people who know a lot more than me. I think it looks like the smoothest (whatever that means) utility biker setup at the moment is probably a SON hub dynamo and Phillips Saferide lights, but then you’re a price band or two upwards. I still wonder about buying a low-price Shimano hub dynamo for my setup, but I plan to stick with the HR until next winter if it just keeps working.

  6. Paul 29/11/2013 at 10:23 am #

    the rubber straps also break rendering them useless

  7. Nigel Oulton 29/11/2013 at 5:35 pm #

    The review is of the Knog Blinder Road 3, but your linking to Amazon saying it is the same light but the Amazon page is for the Knog Blinder Road 2 and at Amazon you should have linked to http://www.amazon.co.uk/KNOG-LIGHT-BLINDER-ROAD3-FRONT/dp/B00CVDH2TG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_2 instead.

  8. arthur moses 13/12/2013 at 12:07 pm #

    This helps me. although light can not shine through much, but can be used on my bike. I came home from work until late afternoon and evening at home, these lights are very helpful and as a decoration as well

Leave a Reply